Happy Haggis will help you trace your Scottish family tree.

Scottish information & links.

USEFUL GENERAL LINKS

Try these quick links to specific subjects, or just scroll down the list of links:
Coat of Arms, "Mac" and "Mc" Names, Alcohol, Poor Relief, Alcohol, BMD (Baptism, Marriage & Death) Tax, Valuation Rolls, Hearth Tax, Change of Name, Unexpected Spellings, Gregorian Calendar, Divorce, Adoption & Fostering, Illegitimacy, Trade Directories, Highland Clearances, Scottish Wills, Illiteracy, Birth & Marriage Search Problems, Family Clues, Roman Numerals, Certificate Abbreviations.

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Internet Archive WayBack Machine - nothing worse than finding the link your been looking for only to find the web page is no longer available. Now you can browse through 55 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago.
  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Curious Fox - The village by village contact site for anybody researching family history, genealogy and local history in the UK and Ireland. Every UK county, town and village has a page for family history, local history, surname and genealogy enquiries. Use the search box to find your village or town.

  • General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) - part of the devolved Scottish Administration responsible for the registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships, deaths, divorces, and adoptions. They run the census and use Census and other data to publish information about population and households. They are the main source of family history records.
  • Historic Scotland - safeguards Scotland’s historic environment and promotes its understanding.
  • The National Archives - records of the UK Government from Doomsday to the present. Descriptions of more than 10 million records held by The National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom. You may either search or browse through the descriptions. Images of the documents are not available. You can request copies online or place advance orders for the day of their visit.
  • Scottish sequestrations - a sequestration is a Scottish legal term for personal bankruptcy where you are formally declared Bankrupt by the Court. Selected dates covered ( December 1850, Jan-June 1851, Jan-May 1856, Apr-June 1886, May-June 1900.HappyHaggis. Happy to Help.
  • HappyHaggis Scrapbook - a collection of unrelated newspaper articles which might help someone somewhere or just make an interesting read..HappyHaggis. Happy to Help.
  • GENUKI - offers a massive amount of local information. A list of counties leads you to links for - towns and parishes, county-related information, archives amd libraries, bibliography, cemeteries, census, church records, civil registration, court records, description and travel, genealogy, language, military history, military records, personal names, newspapers, population stats, societies and taxation.
  • Scottish Handwriting.com - tututorial in the Palaeography of Scottish Documents 1500-1750.
  • Origins Network - a comprehensive and exclusive British and Irish record collection dating back to the 13th century, as well as rare and unique photos and books to browse.
  • Internet Surname Database - a free system created to help you learn more about your family name, and then share what you discover with others. Currently this site consists of a database of approximately 50,000 surname origin researches.
  • Resources for Learning in Scotland (RLS) - a resource base headed by the National Library of Scotland (NLS) and SCRAN - involving over 100 Scottish archives and libraries. There are over 107,000 records, 650 resource packs and 26 websites on Scotland's social, cultural and industrial heritage.
  • The Original Record.com - contains scans of 2,500 historical books and documents containing over 10 million entries relating to families in the British Isles and colonies.
  • Highland Clearances chronology - a list of significant dates between 1762 and 1856 from the excellent book 'The Highland Clearances' by John Prebble (1969). HappyHaggis. Happy to Help.
  • Rampant Scotland -popular Scottish Forenames and their origins.
  • The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies - located in Kent. The collection contains such items as Genealogical textbooks outlining research techniques, Genealogical source material for each county, Published census, probate indexes and marriage indexes, Trade directories from 1677 to the mid 20th century, School and university registers and Scottish Old Parochial Registers. See the website for full details.
  • The Court of the Lord Lyon - heraldic authority for Scotland.
  • Science and Society Picture Library - SSPL represents over a million images from the Science Museum, the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television and the National Railway Museum. There are over 50,000 images digitised, and dedicated staff available to help your research.
  • Tracesmart - allows you to search for current people, addresses and electoral rolls. Requires the purchase of credits.
  • The Scottish Association of Family History Societies - email the relevant local society to see if anyone is researching your family name.
  • BBC Scotland - advice on graves and memorials
  • BBC Scotland - advice on Wills and Testaments
  • Monumental Inscriptions - these are recordings of the details of gravestone information. Not everyone could afford a gravestone. Many stones have fallen or are weathered, and are now unreadable. The Scottish Genealogy Society has the largest collection of Scottish monumental inscriptions in the world. Contact them if you wish to pursue this line of enquiry.
  • NameThesaurus - a technology for finding surname and forename variants. May assist in old spellings and help you back on track.
  • www.victorianweb.org - articles and information on a wide range of Victorian subjects. A great site if you want to understand how your Victorian ancesters thought and lived. The search facility is useful in this large site.
  • Vision of Britain - a vision of Britain between 1801 and 2001, including maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions. Enter a postcode or town/village name.
  • www.scotlandgenweb.org - part of the worldgenweb.org international website in the aim to provide genealogists with a worldwide resource to localised information. Information is limited but worth a look just in case.
  • The National Virtual Museum - has news, listings and features from over 3,000 museums, galleries and heritage sites throughout the UK.
  • VisitScotland - Scottish Ancestry - contains clan, surname and placename searches which provide general information and links.
  • Black Sheep Index - has a large collection of indexes to records relating mainly to law and crime or particular occupations, such as UK police forces, railwaymen, mining accidents, doctors & churchmen, Royal and merchant navy men, shipowners, publicans and brewers.
  • British Home Children - dedicated to the 100,000+ orphaned British Home Children who were sent to Canada between 1870 and the 1940's. There are over 50,000 names on their searchable database.
  • Cemetery transcription Library - over 4 million records from over 8,900 cemeteries around the world. It is US-focused, but there were five Scottish counties covered at time of writing.
  • Encyclopedia of Genealogy - a free-content encyclopedia created by its readers. The Encyclopedia of Genealogy is available to everyone, free of charge. Everyone can also contribute information, again free of charge.
  • The Genealogist - a significant collection of online records for the UK, claiming to have the largest collection of UK census transcripts. This is a pay-to-view site.
  • RootsWeb - large range of old maps listed under county names.
  • www.freecen.org.uk - census data available on one database ranging from 1841 to 1891.
  • Internet Library of Early Journals - a digital library of 18th and 19th Century journals. Free viewing of Annual Register, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Gentleman's Magazine, Notes and Queries, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and The Builder. Journals are searchable and results lead to full scanned pages of the original.
  • The Original Record.com - scans of 2,500 historical books and documents containing over 10 million entries relating to families in the British isles and colonies are available to download. Search now for the records of the surnames you are interested in, and order scans of the actual pages for direct viewing on-line. Charge applies but free to search.
  • Romany & Traveller Family History Society - offers guidance on occupations, forenames and surnames to look out for.
  • Understanding Buildings - an introduction to architecture with pages on Building Types, architectural styles and traditions and building materials and methods of construction. Concentrates on English architecture but may be useful with Scottish research.
  • The NameThesaurus - a technology for finding surname and forename variants. May assist in old spellings and help you back on track.
  • Churches, churchyards and cemeteries - the aim of this site is to provide a photographic record of various UK churches, churchyards, graveyards and cemeteries for the benefit of those genealogists who cannot access these sites themselves. Also has links to similar sites in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA and Europe.
  • The Contact Register - founded by Missing Links UK in association with LookupUK.com as the ultimate resource for all adopted people, birth parents, brothers, sisters and extended natural family members, wishing contact with one another, to be able to register their interest.
  • Victorian Web - articles and information on a wide range of Victorian subjects. A great site if you want to understand how your Victorian ancesters thought and lived. The search facility is useful in this large site.
  • The Hospital Records Database
  • Scots Burials in Buenos Aires 1822-1833 - including Yellow fever death roll.
  • Geograph British Isles - this project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Scot and Irish ship passenger lists
  • Anglo-Scottish Family History Society - assists in overseas genealogists trace their links back to Scottish origins. Includes a Scottish strays marriage index list.
  • GENUKI pages on locating Scottish church records
  • GENUKI pages on Scottish censuses
  • Dating old photos and postcards - handy tips and dating aids for old photos and postcards.
  • Old postcard buy & sell website - worth a look just in case your area of interest is represented.
  • 18th & 19th century maps - a collection of maps with some detailed Scottish maps available.
  • Explore Genealogy - a very tidy site containing over 100 articles on various genealogical subjects. Click here for information on education records.
  • Maritime History Archive - has about 70% of the surviving UK crew lists. More importantly the website can tell you where most of the other records are kept.
  • Society of Genealogists - contains listings of surnames from it's documents collections and online catalogue as well as an impressive list of lectures and tutorials.
  • The Guild of One-Name Studies - the premier UK-based organisation for one-name studies. The Guild welcomes as members anyone who has an interest in the subject. Members who are carrying out a one-name study may register their study with the Guild.
  • Hall Genealogy Website - a list of archaic medical terms, specifically to help genealogists.
  • Families in British India Society - over 3 million Britons served in India and South Asia from the 17th century. This site has over 200,000 transcribed civil, ecclesiastical, maritime and military records from the India Office and East india Company 1737-1947.
  • The Statistical Accounts - an essential sources of study of Scottish life from the 18th and 19th centuries, and are available free of charge.
  • Parish Searches - this site allows individual Parish searches on the LDS church's International Genealogical Index (IGI). and lets you know which years are covered in baptism and marriages.
  • Guide to Scottish Archives and a Scots currency converter.
  • Ancestors Onboard - records of 30 million passengers on thousands of ships sailing to destinations worldwide, featuring BT27 Outward Passenger Lists for long-distance voyages leaving the British Isles from 1890 to 1960.
  • Francis Frith Collection - contains photographs, aerial photos, memories and books. They are all for sale, but doesn't cost anything to look.
  • Diseases and medical terms for genealogists - most of the definitions of diseases are from medical dictionaries or medical texts compiled at different points in the nineteenth century.
  • COPAC - provides free access to the merged online catalogues of 24 major university research libraries in the UK and Ireland plus the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Library of Wales/Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru.
  • Tribal Pages - allows the online creation of family trees, help with genealogy and see family photos.
  • Digital Documents - lists over 160,000 Up places that can be searched in several ways, using parts of words to find the correct name and location by county. A very handy site when a document has an illegible place name.
  • Scottish history articles - some articles on aspects of Scottish history by Peter Lawrie BSc, BA, MPhil, MBCS, CITP, FSAScot, CFA, including The Irish Scots of Dalriada - or were they? / Watson's Celtic Placenames of Scotland / The Political Context of the Battle of Glen Fruin in 1603 / Scottish Castles - Fortifications or Mansions? / Highland Clothes - or did an Englishman invent the kilt? / The Clan Gregor in the last Jacobite rising of 1745-46 / Kinship, Landholding & Crime - Clan Gregor 1583-1611 / Glen Gyle House - built by Rob Roy MacGregor / A study of the Poor Roll in a Scottish Highland Parish, 1864-1915 / Family structures in Kildonan in the 19th century / Migration patterns into eastern Sutherland from the 1851 census / Occupations of the workforce in two Sutherland parishes in 1851 / An analysis of Wages and Prices in 19th century Sutherland.
  • Cemetery transcription Library - over 4 million records from over 8,900 cemeteries around the world. It is US-focused, but there were five Scottish counties covered at time of writing.

    USEFUL FACTS

    Coat of Arms
    It's a myth that there is any such thing as a family coat of arms. Heraldic arms are normally granted to one person and passed down to succeeding generations according to strict rules. Because you happen to share the same surname as someone who bears arms does not mean you are entitled to those arms as well.

  • The Heraldry Society of Scotland - founded in 1977 with the objective of promoting the study of heraldry and encouraging its correct use in Scotland and Overseas.
  • Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies - centre for family history, heraldry and related subjects.

    "Mac" and "Mc" Names
    "Mac" is always considered an addition to a name. Before there was a "Donald's Son" there was a "Donald". In Scotland names beginning with "Mac" are sometimes alphabetized under the first letter of the second name "Mac Arthur" under "A", "Mac Young" under "Y". After the 1745 uprising to avoid reprisals many surnames became Anglicised by dropping the "Mac", or as they emigrated "Mac Neil" becoming plainly "Neil". Also, in Highland names, there is no significance in the variation between Mac and Mc, and between the use of a capital or a small letter in the second part of the name, such as, MacLean and Maclean. The variation in spelling is easy to understand when one realizes that most people in the middle ages could not read or write. If a person could not spell their name, someone recording the name did so phonetically. Different scribes used different spellings, and the same scribe might use different spellings within the same document. Even an individual might spell his own name in different ways on different occasions. In fact, until about two and a half centuries ago, the spelling of proper names, and many other words, was quite arbitrary. There is however one distinction you can make as far as differentiating between a name being Scottish or Irish. If it is an O' name it is always Irish (those in Scotland are mostly nineteenth century emigrations), but if it is a mac, mc or other variation it can be both Scottish or Irish. You may be surprised to know the three most common names in Scotland are actually Smith, Brown and Wilson.

    Alcohol
    One of the first licensing laws was issued at the time of a plague in 1498 when, in an attempt to halt its spread, a statute demanded taverns and alehouses close at 10pm. At a time when many of Edinburgh's alehouses doubled as thriving brothels, a law also outlawed the employment of women in premises where ale was sold. By 1759, to control the increasing number of alehouses and (whisky) dram shops, legislation was introduced requiring innkeepers to apply to magistrates for a licence. From 1853, with the introduction of a 'grocer's certificate', licensed off sales (sales of alcohol to be consumed elsewhere) were also permitted in Scotland. It had become common practice for fathers to send children to buy their beer, and in 1901 the Child Messenger Act banned the sale of alcohol to children under the age of 14 years, except in quantities of less than one pint. A Licensing Act of 1903 consolidated all previous legislation and introduced stiffer penalties for public drunkenness. There was a strong temperance movement, and the Temperance (Scotland) Act was introduced in 1913, which halted the expansion of public house premises and also introduced much reduced opening hours. It was not until 1976 that hours of opening were extended and Sunday opening was accepted.

  • Licencee records, which include ale certificate registers, burgh records and licensing court books, are held mainly at The National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh, but some are in county record offices.
  • For an article from the New York Times 2nd January 1877, on 'Intemperance in Scotland' click HERE.HappyHaggis. Happy to Help.

    Poor Relief
    Poor relief legislation dates to the early 15th century, but it wasn't until after the Reformation that the parish assumed responsibility for the poor. This responsibility was shared between local landowners (or heritors) and the kirk sessions.

    Heritor's contributions to the poor fund were often voluntary to avoid being enforced through tax. Income raised by the kirk sessions came from ceremonial fees (baptisms etc.) as well as the church plate and fines. A portion of this money was given out to the poor in the parish. The National Archives of Scotland in Ebunburgh (www.nas.gov.uk) houses Scotland's official collection of kirk session records and these can only, at present, be viewed in person, although plans to digitise and make these records available online are well-advanced. In most cases, poor relief records can be found in session minutes or account books.

    In 1845 the administration of poor relief changed with the Poor Law Amendment (Scotland) Act and the introduction of parochial baords. These boards were required to maintain a list of those benefiting from poor relief. Parochial board records can be found in local archives throughout Scotland with the exception of a few examples which are held at the National Archives of Scotland.

    BMD (Baptism, Marriage & Death) tax
    Between 1783 and 1794 a duty of three pence was put on every baptism, marriage or burial recorded in Scottish registers. Paupers were exempted and so many people were entered as such although they were not. Some avoided the tax by not having their children baptised.

    Valuation Rolls
    Valuation rolls came into force in 1855 following the Lands Valuation (Scotland) Act of the previous year.This system continued in Scotland until the Community Charge, referred to as the Poll Tax, took over in 1989. From 1854 to 1988 the rolls were collected annually and for each property record the name of the proprietor, the tenant, the occupier and the annual rateable value. The Edinburgh Room holds valuation rolls from 1914.

    Hearth Tax
    Hearth Tax was a 17th century tax payable by occupiers of properties with hearths or stoves. In 1662, an Act was passed in order to levy taxes based on the number of hearths per property. Any properties worth more than 20 shillings in yearly value that were not inhabited by almsmen were liable to pay the tax, but anyone whose house was worth less than £1 per year or who had an annual income of less than £10 was exempt, as was anyone who paid neither poor or church rates. The short-lived tax was abolished in 1689.

    Change of Name
    Except during WW2 British subjects have always been able to change their names, providing there was no intent to commit fraud. Most people who change name need proof they have done so and create a deed poll, enrolled in the High Court of Justice and recorded in class J18 at the National Archives. Those made before 1903 are in the Close Rolls at the National Archives. From 1914 it was obligatory to publish deed polls in the London Gazette.

    Unexpected Spellings
    Be aware of the variety in the spellings of names. Before the 18th century there was no attempt to standardise the spelling of even quite common words, let alone names. Also, since names were often transmitted orally, as many people were still illiterate even well into the Victorian period, it was often up to the clerk or priest how they should be written. For example, even a common name such as Smith could also be spelled Smyth, Smithe or Smythe. If you are having finding a particular surname, try for a phonetic alternative. Say the name out loud and write down different variations of how that name could be written. Try adding or removing silent letters, or spelling and saying the name with different vowels, or adding or removing a final 's'.

    Gregorian Calendar
    For centuries dates had been calculated according to the Julian Calendar, named after Julius Caesar. The year had always been calculated as consisting of 365 days. Calculations confirmed the length as actually 365.25 days, so leap years were introduced. The lack of exactness resulted in a discrepancy of 10 days by the 16th century, which meant religious festivals were wrong and dates were not in-keeping with the seasons. Pope Gregory decreed that ten days should be deducted from October 1582 to rectify matters. Most Catholic countries soon complied, but Protestant countries resisted the change. Scotland changed in 1600, with England, Wales and Ireland changing as late as 1752. By then, the error had increased to eleven days, so 2nd September was followed by 14th September.

    Divorce
    Church courts could disolve marriages, and were easier to obtain compared with England and Wales. They were permitted on grounds of adultery or desertion, through the Commissary Court of Edinburgh 1536-1830 and from then on from the Court of Sessions. Scottish divorce records are held with the Register General of Scotland.

    Adoption and Fostering
    Before the Adoption Act of 1926, which came into effect in January 1927, children were often fostered or adopted out of workhouses and later from foster homes, and on an informal basis. Under equally informal circumstances, they were given new surnames, so tracing their origins can be difficult.

    Dr Barnardo's was founded in 1865 and would eventually deal with over 300,000 cases, and in particular assisting in child emigration throughout the British Empire. The last home closed in 1981. The records of fostered children appear in poor law and workhouse records and the records of founding hospitals. Barnardo's records are listed as confidential for 100 years except to the adopted people concerned. Records are filed under the original birth names only.

    After 1926 some children continued to be fostered. Before 1969 records are poor. Adoption records should be requested through the local social services. From 1927 adoption was sanctioned by a court order. As a result the original birth certificate will have the word 'adopted' on it, and the new birth certificate is issued to the cild under the new name.

    Adoption records from 1930 are with the Register General of Scotland.

    Illegitimacy
    Between 1837 and 1965 up to 7% of births in England and Wales were out of wedlock. Scottish figures were probably similar, so it is not a modern phenomenon.

    Often an illegitimate child would informally adopt the surname of the new husband, whether or not this was the father. It can therefore be difficult to find the birth of a child whose original surname was that of the mother prior to marriage if you do not know the maiden name of the mother.

    It was common for an illegitimate child to hide the truth in later life. Sometimes the father;s name is left blank on certificates. Sometimes the name of a fictitious man with the same surname was given, or the name of a professional that they knew.

    If the father's name does not appear on the birth certificate, the name may never be known. Sometimes clergymen and registrars suggested or even insisted on the child be given a middle name which was the father's surname.

    Trade Directories
    Directories began to appear in the 18th century, with Edinburgh first appearing in 1773 and Glasgow in 1783. They became more common in the 19th century, and generally listed tradesmen, merchants, craftsmen, farmers, professionals, clergy, gentry and nobility. Eventually many directories started to include private residents.

    Directories offered a description of the area covered, and assist in offering possible company names if your ancestor's trade is known. Following your ancestor's appearance through a series of directories assists in you watching their career develop, and can suggest a time of death or relocation when their name stops appearing.

    Note that directories were usually compiled the year prior to publication so regard the information as one year old. Also remember that a person with several occupations may only be listed once, and the continuity of a company name may hide the fact that the founder has passed but the son, maybe with the same name, has continued running the business. The majority of poor people were not listed in directories, so don't assume their non-appearance suggests they weren't there.

    Collections of directories are held at the SoG at the Guildhall Library, as well as local county record offices, libraries and museums. Some directories are available in second hand bookshops and for sale through Ebay.

    An increasing number of Scottish phone books being listed 1880-1984 at www.ancestry.co.uk.

    Highland Clearances
    In the Highlands and Islands, between the 1770's and 1850's, there was a sharp rise in the population putting pressure on the use of the land. This brought about schemes to resettle abroad in North America, or in Australia, but in some cases, especially in Sutherland, emigration came after the people had been forcefully evicted from their homes and had seen their roof-timbers burned down. This displacement of people to allow the introduction of large numbers of sheep, is a painful but important part of our heritage which deeply affects Scottish life today. It is estimated some half a million people left the highlands during this period. See our
    HappyHaggis Emigration page.

  • British History Online - the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, the aim is to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research.
  • Highland Clearances chronology - a list of significant dates between 1762 and 1856 from the excellent book 'The Highland Clearances' by John Prebble (1969).

    Scottish Wills
    The
    Scotlandspeople.gov.uk index is free to search. Register a free account and you will gain access to over 600,000 wills and testaments dating from 1513 to 1901. Each index entry lists the surname, forename, title, occupation and place of residence of the deceased person, the court in which the testament was recorded and the date.

    Illiteracy
    In the 19th Century many of our ancestors were illiterate – not much was written down. Names might change through the centuries. Misspellings add to the confusion.

    Birth & marriage search problems
    Birth entry details are what was told to the Registrar at the time and no proof had to be given. It is possible couples were married outside Scotland or even not legally married at all. All religious marriages would be recognised but on an odd occasion a couple might obtain a warrant from the Sheriff after declaration (early form of civil marriage) but omit the necessary procedure of them taking the warrant to the Registrar so it would not be recorded as a marriage. Or perhaps they simply had not gone through any formalities at all.

    Some tips when looking for family clues:

  • The Family Bible is a great source of information. Families often recorded the dates of major events in the fly-cover.
  • Memorial cards and obituaries
  • Official documents such as school reports, apprenticeship papers, graduation certificates and occupational pensions can be great guides.
  • Military service records, medals and pensions
  • Society/club membership papers such as trade union cards, diaries, scrapbooks, letters, newspaper cuttings.
  • Photograph albums and family heirlooms can also be a great source of key pieces of information. Don't forget to check the reverse side for dates and clues.

    Foreign Cemetery Inscriptions

  • VIENNA - St. Marx Cemetery (incomplete)HappyHaggis. Happy to Help.
  • DONEGAL - Old Abbey Cemetery, Donegal Town (incomplete)HappyHaggis. Happy to Help.
  • BUNDORAN - Church of the Immaculate ConceptionHappyHaggis. Happy to Help.
  • BRATISLAVA Koziabrana - Goat Gate CemeteryHappyHaggis. Happy to Help.
  • BRATISLAVA Ondnejsjy - Ondnejsjy CemeteryHappyHaggis. Happy to Help.

    Roman Numerals and how to read them
    While searching cemetery inscriptions you may find dates in Roman numerals. Such inscriptions are not common in Scotland, but you are more likely to find them on high-status graves, such as those belonging to merchants.

  • The letters (Roman numerals) are arranged from left to right in descending order of valuation and are simply added to each other (MDCLXVI = 1000 + 500 + 100 + 50 + 10 + 5 + 1 = 1666), but...
  • Sometimes there's a lower value numeral in front of (to the left of) a higher value numeral to indicate that the lower value should be subtracted from the adjacent higher value (XL = ten taken from fifty = 40).
  • This subtraction rule is particularly useful in modern notations where we avoid four or more identical, consecutive numerals. Thus, instead of writing IIII, we write IV.
  • There are a few more rules or rather non-standardized styles that apply to ancient numerals. "9" could be written "VIIII."
  • A smaller numeral to the left of a larger could mean multiplication (VM = 5000).
  • Occasionally two smaller numerals to the left are to be subtracted from the sum of those to the right (IIXX = 18).
  • An oversized terminal I could mean the "1" should be doubled (MCMVI = 1907).
    Our thanks to
    ancienthistory.about.com for the above text.

    Certificate Abbreviations

  • b. born
    bpt. or c baptised or christened
    bach. bachelor
    bur. or sep. buried
    coh. coheir(ess)
    d. or ob/obit. died
    d.s.p. or o.s.p. died without children
    d.v.p. or o.v.p. died before father
    ed. educated
    fl. lived (floreat)
    inft infant
    k.i.a. killed in action
    lic. marriage licence
    m. or = marriage dissolved by divorce
    m.i.w. mentioned in the will of' followed by f. (father), gf. (grandfather) etc.
    MI monumental inscription
    spin. spinster
    temp. in the time of
    unm. unmarried
    wid. widow or widower
    w.wr/pr. will written/proved

    HappyHaggis.co.uk ©